High school students enjoy Victoria College activities
HS students enjoying campus life
Liberty Academy seniors Enrrique Santa Cruz, left, and Cross Chambers have attended numerous Victoria College events while taking dual credit courses with VC.

Cross Chambers and Enrrique Santa Cruz figured just because they weren’t taking Victoria College classes on campus didn’t mean they couldn’t enjoy the benefits of being a VC Pirate.

Chambers and Santa Cruz, both seniors at Victoria’s Liberty Academy, are taking dual-credit courses and expect to obtain their associate degrees from VC in the spring when they graduate from high school. The two have frequently attended Victoria College student events the past two years to enjoy the college experience.

Santa Cruz attended May’s “Battle of the Bands” at the VC Quad and has cheered on the Pirates at athletic events.

“Seeing these different bands that played different kinds of music like rock and country was a nice experience,” Santa Cruz said. “We went to a basketball game that was pretty intense.”

Chambers said he has visited VC’s art exhibits and other events.

“I have enjoyed the pottery and other art,” Chambers said. “I like to see everyone’s creativity.”

Victoria College Student Activities Director Elaine Everett-Hensley said more online and high school dual credit students are taking advantage of VC’s offering of events throughout the year.

“All VC students, whether they are taking classes on campus or off campus, are encouraged to attend our events and be active in the VC community,” Everett-Hensley said.

VC Advising and Counseling Services Director Bobby Cubriel encourages his criminal justice students to earn extra credit by attending serious-minded events like Lyceum lectures or museum exhibits, but said all college events count.

“College isn’t all about the classroom,” Cubriel said. “The fun things also are a way to meet others and open your horizons to other experiences. Engaging in a different environment than you’re used to is another piece of the college environment that leads to academic success."

Liberty Academy Counselor Andrea Pope said she makes sure students are kept informed of upcoming events at VC.

“We are in collaboration with VC, so they let me know what’s going on, and we bring it to the class,” Pope said.

Santa Cruz and Chambers both plan on attending Texas A&M University next fall. Santa Cruz, who plans to major in business, said the dual credit courses at VC have helped him be prepared for the academic challenges he will face his next two years.

“These dual-credit courses have pushed us to our limits,” Santa Cruz said. “Liberty Academy has helped us a lot to complete and pass these courses in order to be successful in the future.”

Chambers, who plans to study veterinary medicine, said he appreciates how VC instructors have assisted him with his dual-credit studies.

“The way they collaborate is very helpful for us,” Chambers said. “We have good communication with our professors, and that really helps.”

Santa Cruz credited his experiences at VC with helping him build self confidence.

“What I gained the most was learning to be open with other people,” Santa Cruz said. “I felt embarrassed at first to ask people to sign my forms but I’d start out by making small talk and get to know them a little first.”

Their involvement beyond schoolwork at VC has inspired Santa Cruz and Chambers to continue being active at Texas A&M.

“I don’t just want to be going to college,” Santa Cruz said. “I want to open relationships with everyone else and try to be successful.”
Published: Wednesday, 26 October 2016

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